Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Cup’

April 12, The 2011 NHL Playoff Predictions

April 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Western Conference

First Round

1. Vancouver Canucks VS 8. Chicago Blackhawks

Prediction: Canucks in 5. The Canucks are just the better all around team. They are more well rounded, and also have arguably the best goalie in the league in Roberto Luongo. The Blackhawks just can’t match up in any facet of the game. Canucks will go on to the next round.

The Sedins sure are a scary sight for opposing goalies. IMAGE // niteshonsports.org

2. San Jose Sharks VS 7. Los Angeles Kings

Prediction: San Jose in 6. The Sharks, who have been choke artists in the playoffs in recent history, will get the job done in this first round match up. Losing Kopitar for the season was a major blow to the Kings chances this season. Maybe next year.

3. Detroit Red Wings VS 6. Phoenix Coyotes

Prediction: Red Wings in 4. The Wings are, and have been the class of the NHL for quite some time now. Despite their shaky situation in net, with Jimmy Howard battling through late season injuries, the Wings have too much goal scoring power to be denied.

4. Anaheim Ducks VS 5. Nashville Predators

Predictions: Ducks in 6. Ok, so I picked all favorites in the first round. Well that is for a good reason. The Ducks are one of the hottest teams in the NHL, with one of the hottest players in Corey Perry. Pekka Rinne is one of the most underrated goalies in the league, and he will keep Nashville in it, but ultimately the Ducks will prevail.

Second Round

1. Vancouver Canucks VS 4. Anaheim Ducks

Prediction: Canucks in 7. This potential match up has the making of a classic. The two teams feature upper echelon goalies, and goal scorers. On any given night these offenses are capable of scoring six goals, while their goalies are capable of blanking opponents just as easily. In the end, I see the Canucks surviving this battle.

2. San Jose Sharks VS 3. Detroit Red Wings

 Prediction: Red Wings in 4. I don’t buy into San Jose’s method. I think this season will be another disappointing one for the Sharks, making a playoff exit in their San Jose way, by means of a sweep.

Western Conference Finals

1. Vancouver Canucks VS 3. Detroit Red Wings

Predictions: Canucks in 6. When you think of offensive scoring power, you think of the Sedins, Kessler, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk. I don’t think this series will disappoint those who love to see goals. In the end, it will come down to one goalie stepping up, and that goalie is Luongo. The Canucks will be making a much awaited return to the Stanley Cup.

Eastern Conference

First Round

1. Washington Capitals VS 8. New York Rangers

Prediction: Rangers in 6. The Rangers are not a team anyone wanted to see make the playoffs. To be fair, I don’t think anyone wanted to face the Hurricanes either. The Capitals have finished the regular season atop the East, but not in the most convincing of ways. The Flyers really free fell from the ranks to give up the one seed. The Capitals have the clearcut super star on the ice in Alex Ovechkin, but his presence has not meant much for them historically in the playoffs. That coupled with the fact that I couldn’t tell you who their number one starter is in net leads me to believe that there will be more heartache in Washington this season. Lundqvist will stand tall in this series.

2. Philadelphia Flyers VS 7. Buffalo Sabres

Martin St. Louis had a renaissance in Tampa Bay this season. In my eyes, it was him and not Stamkos that was Tampa's MVP this season. IMAGE // Hockeyjunkies.blogspot.com

 

 

Prediction: Flyers in 7. The Flyers have been in free fall mode over the last two weeks of the season. Will they be able to get it together? I think so, but I’m really not sure. It would be easy for me to pick Buffalo simply because they have a reliable goalie in Ryan Miller, and the Flyers have a goalie-by-committee system going. I don’t have a lot of faith in Philadelphia, but if Chris Pronger returns to the team like I expect him to, they should be able to advance to the second round.

3. Boston Bruins VS 6. Montreal Canadiens

Prediction: Canadiens in 6. The Montreal Canadiens feature one of the fastest teams in the league, and in this Original Six match up, I see the Canadiens taking care of the rival Boston Bruins. Both teams boast strong goaltending, but I think the Canadiens will be stronger. Call it a hunch. This pick is one that I don’t carry great confidence in.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins VS 5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Prediction: Tampa Bay in 5. No Sidney Crosby and no Geno Malkin makes this pick a bit easier. Despite the fact that the Penguins have impressively managed to win without these two stars, I don’t think they can sustain their winning in a seven game series with one of the most impressive scoring teams in the league. The Lighting move on.

Second Round

2. Philadelphia Flyers VS 8. New York Rangers

Prediction: Rangers in 5. The difference in this series stands out to me. Goaltending. Henrik Lundqvist will simply be too much for the Flyers when it’s all said and done. I don’t know how much I like the Flyers to even make it this far, so for me this is a pretty easy decision.

5. Tampa Bay Lightning VS 6. Montreal Canadiens

Prediction: Lightning in 5. I like the Lightning this season. They combine strong offensive output and speed with leadership. This is a team that has no shortage of seasoned guys who have been there and done that. The high flying play of their offense combined with the strong goaltending of Dwayne Roloson. I expect to see Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Eastern Conference Finals

5. Tampa Bay Lightning VS 8. New York Rangers

Prediction: Lightning in 7. As much as it hurts to say, I think the Lightning have what it takes to represent the East in the Stanley Cup. The Rangers just don’t have enough to answers to what Tampa will be throwing at them. John Tortorella led the Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 03-04, and this season he could very well watch his former team make their way back for the first time since he was there.

Stanley Cup Finals

1. Vancouver Canucks VS 5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Prediction: Canucks in 6. For all the reasons I mentioned earlier, the Canucks will be the Stanley Cup Champions, redeeming their 1994 loss in seven games to the New York Rangers.

Conn Smythe Winner: Daniel Sedin

Check out some highlights of the last time these two teams were in the Stanley Cup:

March 30, Matteau! Matteau!

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Hey guys,

Lot of homework to do tonight, so I leave you with one of the most exciting plays in the history of the NHL. After coming back from a 3-2 deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Rangers finished off their Hudson River rival New Jersey Devils in double overtime of game seven. Of course, the Rangers went on to win the Stanley Cup against the Vancouver Canucks in seven games, ending a 54 year drought dating back to 1940.

I saw this video on a friend’s Facebook page, and it is awesome. It’s a promo by Versus for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Enjoy, it’s a classic!

February 26, Alex Kovalev back in Pittsburgh

February 26, 2011 Leave a comment

[UPDATE] – The Rangers have acquired Bryan McCabe from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Tim Kennedy and a third round pick. Well done Sather.

Hey guys,

So with the NHL trade deadline approaching, many teams are doing what they can to bolster their lineup, while other teams that have failed to meet expectations are shipping away talented players to save money, and free up salary space.

Kovalev showing off his MVP award for the 2009 All-Star Game. IMAGE // http://www.habsinsideout.com

Some of the biggest trades thus far include the Senators trade of Brian Elliot for Craig Anderson of the Avalanche, and the Penguins trade of a conditional seventh round pick to the Senators for Alex Kovalev.

Kovalev is a veteran in his 18th NHL season. Drafted 15th overall by the Rangers in the 1991 NHL draft, Kovalev became the first Russian player to be taken in the first round of the NHL draft. He spent the first seven years of his career in New York. There he helped lead the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup Championship in 54 years in the 1993-94 season, becoming the first Russian player to ever win hockey’s greatest prize.

Kovalev then spent five seasons in Pittsburgh, where he recorded the best season of his career, tallying 44 goals and 51 assists in 2000-01. He then was traded back to the Rangers during the 2002-03 season, where he failed to impress, and was shipped up to Montreal in 2003-04 where he re-discovered his game, scoring 84 points in the 2007-08 season. In the next stage of Kovalev’s career, he signed with the Senators for the 2009-10 season. There he played for one and a half seasons before being traded to Pittsburgh this week.

So far this season, Kovalev has not produced much, but the Penguins know what he is capable of, and were desperate in light of injuries to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. At this point in the season, Kovalev has notched 14 goals and 13 assists.

To commemorate the Kovalev trade, I found a video of Alex from a time when he was known as Alexei. This is a clip from that glorious Stanley Cup final when the Rangers took down the Canucks in seven games.